Committee Hearing Will Examine Transportation Issues in Indian Country

Jul 11, 2007

WASHINGTON DC -

Chairman Byron Dorgan (D-ND) announced Wednesday the Senate Indian Affairs Committee will conduct a hearing on transportation issues in Indian Country on Thursday, July 12th.

The hearing will convene at 9:30 AM in Room 485 of the Russell Senate Office Building, the committee’s hearing room.

Dorgan said the hearing will examine tribal transportation programs, tribal road maintenance needs, the Bureau of Indian Affairs Road Maintenance Program, funding and roads inventory and traffic safety issues.

“A transportation system is the lifeline for a community making it possible for our children to get to school and our families to travel to work, hospitals and to health clinics,” Dorgan said in announcing the hearing. A sound transportation system is essential to economic growth and civic activity. Unfortunately, in Indian Country the majority of the roads are unsafe and unreliable. The statistics are alarming. Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death for Native Americans ages 1-34, and the third leading cause of death overall for Native Americans. The death rate from motor vehicle accidents for American Indians is nearly twice as high as other races.

“Equally disturbing,” Dorgan added, “is the fact that American Indians have the highest rate of pedestrian injury and death per capita of any racial or ethnic group in the United States.